1s produce another nail-biting victory to keep promotion hopes alive
After losing the toss at home to Chesham, Thame openers Sutcliffe and Russell (pictured right) got the hosts off to a blistering start, plundering 48 runs off the first 7 overs. The loss of Sutcliffe for 21 halted the Thame charge, but runs continued to flow as Kanishka helped Russell swell the total to 150-1 with 16 overs to go. From this platform however, Thame faltered as Chesham’s excellent attack prospered. The fall of both Russell for a fluent 78 and then Kanishka an over later for 45 sparked an extraordinary collapse as Thame lost their last 9 wickets for just 50 runs, finishing 200 all out.
On a good wicket, Thame knew a good start would prove crucial and it was Will Rooney who delivered once more. He struck twice to leave Chesham wobbling at 10-2. From there, Chesham rebuilt steadily to move the score to 100-4 at drinks, the game finely balanced. With both sides desperately needing victory in their respective promotion chases, Chesham looked to have the chase under control as they cruised to 150-5 post drinks. However, tight spells from Beard (2-17) and Kanishka (2-28) brought Thame back into contention. Rooney returned to pick up the key wicket of Tom Free (34) in the penultimate over to leave Chesham 196-8, requiring 5 runs to win off the last. In a bold move, Kanishka switched from seam to spin for the last over, and drama ensued. The first ball was pulled hard out to Rooney who spilled a difficult chance. The batsman attempted two, however, and Rooney’s throw was accurate enough to dismiss the well set France for 20. The next ball was a dot to build the pressure, and then Chesham’s number 11 was bowled swiping across the line to spark jubilant scenes at Church Meadow.
Datchet’s defeat to Harefield see’s Thame rise to second in the table with their promotion fate now in their own hands. They travel to bottom of the league Reading on Saturday, hoping to set up a title decider at home to Aston Rowant on the final day of the season.
2nd XI faced Horspath in game they felt they should have won
Losing the toss and being put in to bat, Thame got off to a rocky start. Horspath quickly made use of what looked to be an unreliable pitch, with only skipper Matt Furness (35) managing to get many runs amongst Thame’s top order batsmen. The introduction of Richard Carr (44) and Matt Ridgway (48, pictured below) nevertheless helped to shift the momentum of the game, helping Thame to reach what looked to be an impressive score of 168 on a difficult batting track.
However, the batting track appeared to flatten out as the day went on. A combination of loose bowling from Thame’s bowling attack and good batting from Jones (34) and Coltman (25) helped steer Horspath towards Thame’s total. Horspath ended up reaching Thame’s total with just 3 balls to go. Sam Lachlan was the pick of the Thame bowlers, with figures of 3-35.
Despite the loss, Thame 2nd XI were awarded 10 points, meaning that they avoided relegation with two games to spare. The 2s host Brackley next Saturday at Church Meadow.
Four straight wins for 3s after surviving pitch scare
The 3rds travelled to Islip to face Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts (OBNCC), and were greeted by a minefield of a pitch which had seen a low scoring win for the hosts the previous week. Thame Skipper Vimal Desai won the toss and, without hesitation, chose to bowl. James McStay (pictured right) opened the bowling and ripped through most of the top order with a sharp spell of 4-13. The pitch and long grass in the outfield proved to make it tough going for the batsmen, with runs trickling at 2 an over, only Saleem Sadiq (14) sticking around for a decent amount of time, before becoming victim to Ian McStay (3-12). John Phippen claimed (2-9), before Ed Mather finished the innings off with only his 4th ball. OBNCC could only manage 48, which on this pitch was not as bad a score as the amount would usually suggest.
The chase got off to a bad start, as Thame lost 3 early wickets, giving OBNCC a glimpse of hope. Olly Sutcliffe (13) and Guy Holmes (10) came together to progress the chase, Olly hitting the only boundary of the entire game. Thame were slowly creeping towards the total, but kept losing more wickets, before John Phippen hit the winning runs with Thame 7 down. There were only 97 runs scored and 17 wickets falling, in what was a crazy game.
The win was the most important thing, as Thame secured a shoot-out for promotion between themselves, Tiddington, Challow & Childrey and Oxford Downs in the last 2 games. The boys welcome Banbury 5s next week.